It’s been over a year since I last wrote on this or any other blog. Shoot, I just kind of stopped. It went how most things sort of happen: you stop doing something, stop paying attention, and get wound up in a new unintended habit.
A lot has happened over the last year. I welcomed my 1st son into this world, started my MBA, and dove into some big roles at work. But there’s no excuse, I just stopped when I shouldn’t have.
Here’s the always-present silver lining: this break helped me understand the intention behind my writing. Many people asked me, So what are you really writing about, and I’d ramble a passable answer but didn’t really have one. Honestly? I wrote because I loved it and didn’t care much what I wrote about. But now I see the thru line. I was writing to help people, especially young people, thrive without losing their humanity.
My generation, the Millennials i.e Gen Y i.e. those-kids-with-their-Snapbooks-and-Facegrams, is the talk of the town. As we should be. We are huge (hope you didn’t read that in our president’s voice); we recently surpassed Baby Boomers as the largest generation. We are also immensely talented (most educated generation ever), uber-ambitious (most entrepreneurially-minded), and values-oriented (most demanding of corporate social responsibility at our employers). Yet you never hear that–often because most people doing the talking about us are not us. You only hear that we whine, flake, and love taking pictures of our small-batch coffee. I mean, a small batch affoggato taken with a Valencia filter is the way to go, but still!
Millennials don’t want to make tons of money or buy lots of stuff or conquer countries. We just want to make a big positive dent in the world. (That, our idealism, is also mocked. When that life philosophy gets ridiculed I worry more about other people’s POV than our own.)
And We Are Not Thriving
Millennials are constantly disappointed and frustrated with how the world works, and often think we are at fault.
I am here to say two bold things:
We are exactly the right people to lead the change in this world…
…and we are also the best ones to help ourselves do that. The rest of the world is not yet ready for us.
Our Achilles’s heel is our paralyzing self-doubt. Our unique strength is our quickness and kindness. We struggle with doing great things in a not-so-great world, and I get how deflating that can be. That’s why we, the bold, the young at heart, the quick to forgive, are the right people to lead the charge.
I was compelled to write again because of all of this.
I’ll write about how millennials can thrive. How do we thrive at work, at home, and in our communities. How do we do well and do good. How do we gain greater influence so that we fight for bigger and bigger stakes. How do we make that awesome dent and also take care of ourselves. How we do great things and keep our humanity.
I don’t have many answers, but I am pretty familiar with the questions. The prompts are well-known to me, since my “life plan” went nowhere near as planned, and am all good with that.
I hope this will spark a conversation among us and the building of an awesome Millennial community. We need to support each others’ dreams, build together, and promote the hell out of what’s right in all of us, because very soon we will be calling the shots and swinging that hammer, making that dent a whole lot bigger. Let’s get started.